POINT PLEASANT — January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, and Pleasant Valley Hospital wants residents to know there’s much they can do to prevent the disease.
Each year, more than 11,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer.
HPV (human papillomavirus) is a common infection that spreads through sexual activity, and it causes most cases of cervical cancer. About 79 million Americans currently have HPV, but many people with HPV are unaware they are infected. The good news is that the HPV vaccine can prevent HPV, and cervical cancer is often preventable with regular pap screening tests and follow-up care.
“In honor of National Cervical Health Awareness Month, Pleasant Valley Hospital encourages women to start having regular cervical cancer screenings with a Pap test at age 21,” stated Fri Mofor-Eta, MD, obstetrician gynecologist. “We also encourage parents to make sure pre-teens receive the HPV vaccination at age 11 or 12. It is recommended that teens and young adults be vaccinated if they did not receive the HPV vaccination as pre-teens. Women up to age 26 and men up to age 21 can still receive the vaccination. Thanks to the health care reform law, you and your family members may be able to get these services at no cost to you. Check with your insurance company to learn more. Taking small steps can help keep you safe and healthy.”
To schedule an appointment for cervical cancer screening or vaccine, contact Mofor-Eta, or Karah Cloxton, MD, family medicine obstetrician, at 304-857-6503.